Physiology Department

School of Basic Medical Sciences (SBMS)

INTRODUCTION

The Department of Physiology was recently established by the University Senate to start a B.Sc. programme in Physiology. It is one of the fundamental Departments in School of Basic Medical Sciences of the Federal University of Technology Owerri. Physiology is the study of the functioning of various parts of a living organism (body) and the mechanisms by which the functions are performed and regulated. It is a field that has a strong relationship with other medical and allied health training programmes. It attempts to explain the physical and chemical features of the human body that is responsible for its origin, development, growth, health and survival. Physiology is regarded as the ‘mother of all medical sciences’ because it is fundamental in the training of other medical, paramedical and health personnel, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, dentists, physiotherapists, biomedical engineers and other health scientists and technologists. A Physiologist tries to understand and explain the functional characteristics and mechanisms of the living human body fluid or structure in various conditions or environments. A Physiologist uses his knowledge and skill in physiology to directly investigate or extrapolate the potential usefulness, adverse effects or safety of any physical, chemical or environmental factor on the human homeostatic activities, whether in normal or abnormal exposures. For instance, a Physiologist may study the effect of a new medicine, pollutant or high atmospheric temperature on the respiratory rate. Applied Physiologist is trained to know how to investigate or determine physiological challenges in clinics, workplaces, homes or in any unusual environment or emergency. He decides and takes the relevant measurements and interprets the results to the medical personnel, the patient or any other client. For human safety reasons, he carries out a lot of in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical or field experimentations prior to human studies.
Philosophy of the Programme

The philosophy of the undergraduate physiology programme is to train students in theoretical, practical and applied physiology to make such graduates suitable to utilize the basic knowledge for future problem solving and other applications – like in practice of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, etc. The graduates should be able to function as entrepreneurs whether in public service or self-employed.

Aim of the Programme

To produce graduates equipped with basic knowledge physiology and practical skills in order to carry out basic physiological measurements and actively participate in health education, screening, diagnosis, therapy, monitoring, promotion, fitness or safety, thereby providing solutions to diverse fitness, health and safety challenges.

Objectives of the programme

1. To train students to acquire basic knowledge of physiological principles.

2. To train students to acquire sufficient practical knowledge and practical skills in experimental physiology.

3. To train students to have knowledge of applied physiology as used in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and other health sciences and technology.

4. To train students who will be able to apply physiology knowledge.

5. To train students in physiological knowledge sufficient for them to proceed for further studies in physiology or other related fields of specialization.

6. To train students who can adapt themselves after schooling, to various life endeavours, including entrepreneurship.

Career prospects for graduates of the programme:

The programme will produce graduates that will reasonably fill in the existing wide gap existing in clinical/safety measurement departments of hospitals, schools, environmental, health and safety sectors. Graduates will have training that can be applied to determine the physiological status of persons/workers in industries, sports or any adverse environment. Furthermore, the programme will train clinical measurement scientists for example in spirometry, electroencephalogram, electrocardiogram, and electromyogram who will work in the clinical measurement laboratories of hospitals. In addition, the programme will produce heart-lung machine scientists who are indispensable during open heart surgery. The graduates from the program will also acquire entrepreneurial skills to establish a private practice in order to reasonably fill in the related gaps existing in the healthcare delivery and physiological safety systems. Consequently, they are expected to contribute to their researchers.

a) Research and Clinical Laboratory Scientists.

b) Clinical measurement Scientists such as Cardio-Physiologists, Neurophysiologists, Respiratory Physiologists, Gastrointestinal/Nutrition Physiologists, Auditory Physiologists, Exercise Physiologists, Embryologist, Reproductive Endocrinologists, Heart Lung Machine Scientists, Biomedical Scientists Performing Spirometry, ECG, EEG, EMG, etc.

c) Lecturers/Tutors/Teachers at various educational Institutions.

d) Sports physiologists.

e) Health and fitness advisors.

f) Food, pharmaceutical and allied marketing representatives.

g) Human science journalists: science writers/presenters.

h) Environmental/Occupational physiologists.

i) Systems physiologists.

j) Safety Pharmacologists.

k) HSE, HIA and EIA consultants.

The graduates’ wealth of knowledge is very applicable in diverse fields of endeavour, such as aviation, mining, manufacturing, job recruitment/training, hospitality/recreational, banking, food, beauty/cosmetology, textile/clothing, biomedical engineering industries and other establishments where efficient management of human resources and safety is a priority.

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